20 jobs where COVID-19 impacted long-term growth

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    Man at work with things after being laid off
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    This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

    While many economists believe the U.S. economy will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, they are less confident that the job market will recover anytime soon.

    According to February’s National Association of Business Economics, 82% of economic forecasters surveyed expect real GDP to return to pre-COVID-19 levels sometime in 2021.

    In contrast, only 59% of respondents expect the total number of workers (excluding farm workers) to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 or later.

    As Americans attempt to increase their savings and determine their employment prospects during the pandemic, SmartAsset analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 720 occupations to predict the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the labor market.

    We compared pre- and post-major impact projections to identify the jobs that could be most positively or negatively affected by COVID-19. Details of our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our results can be found in the Data and Methodology section at the end.

    Listed here are the jobs that are most likely to be positively impacted by the pandemic, followed by the jobs that are most likely to be negatively affected.

    1. Epidemiologists

    Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 4.6%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 31.0%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 31.2%

    difference: 26.6%

    2. Medical Scientists

    Female laboratory scientist using the microscope
    Likoper / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 6.1%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 28.9%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 30.7%

    difference: 24.6%

    3. Information security analysts

    Information security analyst
    leo_photo / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 31.2%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 42.1%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 43.0%

    difference: 11.8%

    4. Web developer and designer of digital interfaces

    Software developer who works from home
    Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 8.0%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 18.8%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 19.3%

    difference: 11.3%

    5. Biochemists and biophysicists

    sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 4.0%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 12.1%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 14.7%

    difference: 10.7%

    6. Network and computer system administrators (tie)

    Set up a home Wi-Fi wireless network and router
    Casezy Idea / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 4.3%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 14.1%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 14.5%

    difference: 10.2%

    6. Computer Network Architects (tie)

    network
    chanpipat / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 5.0%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 14.5%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 15.2%

    difference: 10.2%

    8. Microbiologists

    Science Photo / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 3.1%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 11.1%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 12.3%

    difference: 9.2%

    9. Biological Technician (tie)

    Female laboratory technicians operating machines
    SeventyFour / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 4.9%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 9.3%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 10.8%

    difference: 5.9%

    9. Database administrators and architects (tie)

    nullplus / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 9.7%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 15.3%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 15.6%

    difference: 5.9%

    Jobs that are most likely to be negatively affected

    Woman in office receives document, looks shocked.
    Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

    Employment growth estimates decreased by more than 10 percentage points for 12 jobs.

    In particular, there are large differences between the moderate and severe pandemic impact scenarios for many of the jobs that are likely to be negatively impacted.

    Below are the jobs most likely to be affected by the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.

    1. Restaurant, Lounge & Coffee Shop Hosts and Hostesses

    A 15-year-old girl who works in a coffee shop prepares the morning brew for customers
    Wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 8.2%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -10.8%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -18.0%

    difference: -26.2%

    2. Bartender

    santypan / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 5.9%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -2.1%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -13.8%

    difference: -19.7%

    3. Waiters and waitresses

    Restaurant worker in a mask
    Norenko Andrey / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 3.7%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -5.6%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -12.9%

    difference: -16.6%

    4. Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel writers

    Travel agency
    Wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: -2.9%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -11.2%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -19.1%

    difference: -16.2%

    5. Hotel, motel and resort counters

    Hotel reception bell
    Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: -6.9%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -10.9%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -22.0%

    difference: -15.1%

    6. Receptionists and information writers

    Hotel concierge on the phone.
    Gabriel Georgescu / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 3.6%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -2.2%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -10.4%

    difference: -14.0%

    7. Cabin crew

    Flight attendant of the aircraft
    kgarinKhun / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 17.3%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 9.2%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 3.7%

    difference: -13.6%

    8. Cashier

    Aleksandar Malivuk / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: -7.3%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: -14.1%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -19.7%

    difference: -12.4%

    9. Restaurant chefs

    Cook
    dotshock / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 23.1%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 13.9%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: 10.9%

    difference: -12.2%

    10. Transit and intercity bus drivers

    Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

    2019-2029 Projected growth rate before the pandemic: 9.3%

    Moderate impact on the pandemic: 2.7%

    Strong impact on the pandemic: -2.6%

    difference: -11.9%

    Data and methodology

    A man is studying financial data on his computer
    NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

    The data for this report comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment projections. We considered initial projections for 2019-2029 that do not take COVID-19 into account, as well as two alternative scenarios: a moderate COVID-19 impact scenario and a strong impact scenario.

    The alternative scenarios identify occupations whose employment trajectories are subject to a higher degree of uncertainty. The BLS does not intend to make accurate estimates of changes in employment over the projection horizon.

    To rank the jobs most likely to be positively and negatively impacted by COVID-19, we compared the predictions of the pandemic before COVID-19 and the scenarios with a high impact on the pandemic for a total of 720 occupations. We calculated the percentage point difference between these two projections.

    A positive difference indicates that projections for the effects of a major pandemic are higher than projections for a pre-COVID-19 pandemic and that these jobs are more likely to be positively affected. A negative difference indicates that projections for the effects of a major pandemic are lower than projections for a pre-COVID-19 pandemic and that these jobs are more likely to be negatively impacted.

    Although we did not use the numbers of the moderate impact scenarios in ranked occupations, we used them qualitatively to assess less severe lasting effects of the pandemic on specific jobs.

    Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation for clicking links in our stories.

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